Author Topic: How does free speech work?  (Read 134 times)

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Offline Add Homonym

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How does free speech work?
« on: April 28, 2016, 03:55:37 AM »
My framework for asking this question, is that right wingers complain that politically correct people are shutting down conversations, and they get politically correct mantras thrown at them.

Here's an example
http://www.spectator.co.uk/2014/11/free-speech-is-so-last-century-todays-students-want-the-right-to-be-comfortable/

What this basically means, is that the right winger has lost power, and finds that those in power have the right to talk over him. Free speech also seems to be the right to be bullied.

The latest big idea that it's OK to hurt others feelings, which essentially means STFU, because I have the free speech.

Now, this is all very well, when you're white and right about everything. Why should we listen to idiotic bigots?

During this era of "free speech", blacks have been lynched and killed by cops, for holding shiny objects, or having suspicious names.

I can only conclude that we currently live in an era of free speech, so this could happen to another group, if the power changed.

Let's say Muslims are now in control, and they have the free speech to lynch or expel anyone with non-Muslim names.

Right wingers tell me how the Muslims are going to get in power, but they don't seem worried enough about that eventuality, to push for constitutional change that stops a group in power, bullying other groups. This suggests that right wingers are interested in using free speech to eradicate people and dissent completely, rather than admitting that we might have to live in a plural society of some kind, and that we need safe constitutional legislation to deal with it. (By safe, I mean something that can't be changed by some politicians in a night time sitting, because they had the freedom of speech that week.)

How would you do it?
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Re: How does free speech work?
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2016, 07:11:33 AM »
I dont really believe in democracy, freedom and free speech per se.

Too many dumb people around for that.
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Offline Graybeard

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Re: How does free speech work?
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2016, 10:19:28 AM »
Why should we listen to idiotic bigots?
We should listen to everyone and come to a conclusion on the facts plus a balance of self-interest and the public good.

I deplore the shouting down of anyone. The case in point is unfortunately too typical and it wouldn't matter if the writer had been "pro-life". There is no harm in free public speaking.
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Online The Gawd

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Re: How does free speech work?
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2016, 06:43:41 PM »
Agree with the thread. Like when Drumpf decided to shut down his Chicago klan rally and the right whined and cried about it being an attack on free speech. They did not want to recognize the free speech of the protesters. It seems that to the right free speech is a one way street.

I am all for free speech, but it seems people need to know that it also comes with consequences.

Offline wright

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Re: How does free speech work?
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2016, 07:08:59 PM »
^^^That last line is what seems to catch many folks by surprise.

Offhand I don't know of any societies where free speech is both permitted and consequence-free. Particularly now, when one person's casual or not-so-casual remarks can be easily heard or read by millions within seconds. When you have a potential audience that big, it's unsurprising a few of them are going to disagree with you.

And they can be voicing that disagreement to you and those same millions a few moments later.
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Offline Death over Life

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Re: How does free speech work?
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2016, 11:04:46 PM »
My framework for asking this question, is that right wingers complain that politically correct people are shutting down conversations, and they get politically correct mantras thrown at them.

Here's an example
http://www.spectator.co.uk/2014/11/free-speech-is-so-last-century-todays-students-want-the-right-to-be-comfortable/

Allow me to be the devil's advocate again. The right are as hypocritical as hypocritical can come, but yet, what they have mentioned here is especially True. Political correctness is shutting down conversations and ideas.

What this basically means, is that the right winger has lost power, and finds that those in power have the right to talk over him. Free speech also seems to be the right to be bullied.

The latest big idea that it's OK to hurt others feelings, which essentially means STFU, because I have the free speech.

Wrong. What it means is that we are no longer able to be honest about each other and tell each other the truth or our opinions. What it means is we no longer have the right to express ourselves. It means that we are no longer allowed to look at what makes us different. It means that we are now living in a fantasy world just like religion.

Now, this is all very well, when you're white and right about everything. Why should we listen to idiotic bigots?

I know right, because whites are the only idiotic bigots in the world? Blacks, latinos, asians, arabs can't possibly be idiotic bigots? Just more of the left's war on whites.

You listen because you are supposed to have the ability of empathy, to be able to place yourself in one's shoes and try to understand why they are, as you said, idiotic bigots. Then once you realize their "idiotic bigotry", you try to converse with them as to why you understand them, yet disagree with them.

During this era of "free speech", blacks have been lynched and killed by cops, for holding shiny objects, or having suspicious names.

So have whites, latinos, asians, and arabs. Why are you race baiting?

I can only conclude that we currently live in an era of free speech, so this could happen to another group, if the power changed.

Let's say Muslims are now in control, and they have the free speech to lynch or expel anyone with non-Muslim names.

Right wingers tell me how the Muslims are going to get in power, but they don't seem worried enough about that eventuality, to push for constitutional change that stops a group in power, bullying other groups. This suggests that right wingers are interested in using free speech to eradicate people and dissent completely, rather than admitting that we might have to live in a plural society of some kind, and that we need safe constitutional legislation to deal with it. (By safe, I mean something that can't be changed by some politicians in a night time sitting, because they had the freedom of speech that week.)

How would you do it?

You have it all mixed up. Unlike liberals, conservatives are at least willing to have a conversation with you over subjects they don't agree with you. Yes, it will go nowhere, but they at least give you a hand to reach out to for discussion.

Liberals however, it's you agree with me or you shut up. You can say whatever you wish to say, but only if I agree with it. I would really argue if anybody is trying to start eradicating people and dissenting completely in the context of free speech, this is definitely a liberal ideology.

Here is how I view free speech: I may not like you, nor care about you, nor love you, nor respect you. I may hate you, I may think you are a lower form of animal, and I may think I'm wasting my time with you. I may not like what you have to say about me, feel about me, or about anything. Whether I agree or disagree with you, like you or hate you, I will lay down my life and my freedom to defend what you have to say and your right to say it. I care not if anybody is offended by it.

The late, great George Carlin gave a great message about political correctness/silencing free speech and how it is fascism disguised as manners:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hkhUivqzWv0

And since race baiting is brought up again, let's check out some colorful language by the same late, great George Carlin:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PdtHZ_6oz9Q

And here is George Carlin on Euphamisms.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vuEQixrBKCc

Bill Maher & Dennis Miller on Free Speech vs Political Correctness
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ipwMa5uT5es

I understand that we want to be socially acceptable by using socially acceptable language, but it is in all honesty destroying the ability for any form of community or communication.

Offline Add Homonym

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Re: How does free speech work?
« Reply #6 on: Yesterday at 04:10:16 PM »
You may not have read my question.

Right wingers fear that free speech is being shut down by people who cannot understand free speech, namely Muslims and politically correct people who enable Muslims. This means that a right winger perceives free speech as something that is fragile and can be lost.

The question is, why does he do nothing about it, by pushing for some type of constitutional reform that will help in the eventuality that this occurs?

The only thing they seem to do, is ask for more guns, to shoot Muslims and immigrants.

Never mind Voltaire quotes, free speech is just the right to speak to cockroaches in your basement. Noble of you to fight for me to speak to cockroaches. The free speech idea never said that you have the right to get educational facilities to supply you a microphone and an attentive audience of students. Free speech does not facilitate me going on Fox news every day, to debate my POV with intellectuals.

There is a ranking system. Some people's speech is more listened to than others, due to prevailing norms. If the prevailing norm is that religious right wingers can speak to the cockroaches, then that is their current rank, and they should expect little else.

If the prevailing norm, is that my white race is drunk dishonest and unemployable, and should only speak to cockroaches, then that's what I get for 200 years, until some politically correct Muslims speak up for me, and facilitate my backward ideas potentially undermining their paradise.
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Offline jaimehlers

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Re: How does free speech work?
« Reply #7 on: Yesterday at 04:46:01 PM »
All that freedom of speech really means is that you have the right to say what you want without fearing you'll be punished by the government, or those in power, merely for daring to speak.  If I say something, nobody else is obligated to listen, or to give me so much as the time of day.  And there's no guarantee that other people won't shout me down or drown me out if they don't like what I'm saying.

For that matter, if I say something that offends a million people, why should they then be obligated to treat me reasonably in other ways?  If I'm selling a product, and I say something stupid, what incentive do they have to consider buying my product?  And so on, and so forth.

If I say something politically incorrect, why should other people put up with it?  And if someone else says something politically incorrect, and I chastise them, why should they listen to me?  I could go on and on if I wanted, but I believe I've made my point about the true nature of free speech.
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Offline Jag

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Re: How does free speech work?
« Reply #8 on: Yesterday at 05:36:37 PM »
Free speech = the government can not stop you from voicing an opinion, in a nutshell. There are laws that limit certain aspects of speech (fraud, defamation, etc), and as mentioned, there are consequences to free speech. Go ahead and yell "Fire!" in a crowded theater - but you're financially responsible for damages, and headed for prison if anyone dies.

Free speech means you have the freedom to say it. Others have the freedom to listen, or not.

A sample of one - the campus I recently departed bears no resemblance to the one describe in the linked article. In the States, a public university is supposed to be treated as a free speech safe zone, more or less (there's an actual term that I can' recall at the moment), so on my campus, any d!psh!t who wanted to talk was permitted to do so. Hate speech was not permitted, and on rare occasions, someone had to be removed. Students did sometimes stage protests on certain issues that coincided with speakers or events, but there was never any obstructions or efforts to prohibit anyone from having the opportunity to speak.

There was a local guy who called himself Superman. He dressed in a Superman costume, drove round town yelling out the window, stood on street corners yelling at drivers, and drove around campus freaking people out. He mostly drove and hung out downtown, he only showed up on campus a few times a year, for a few days at random times. He's a nasty racist most of the time, but on campus, he didn't usually say anything at all. What he did might have actually been worse - he would find one or two students of color who were walking by themselves, and drive directly behind them, with his window down, blaring music and staring at them. Wouldn't say anything, just stayed right behind them in his car, blaring music and staring. Once they went into a building, he would slowly drive away, then speed up and go looking for more people to follow around, doing nothing but creeping them right the hell out. And there was nothing legally binding that could be done to stop him - what could they charge him with? It's not illegal to be a racist, or a creep. And the campus was really kind of trapped - not only is it a public university, the two main streets actually belong to the city, not the college. He always gets chased off eventually, but there's no mechanism in place to force him to stop altogether.

I find it unsettling that there seems to be a significant segment of a generation here that does fit the linked article. I was often surprised by how unclear the concept of free speech actually was to a lot of younger students, by how willing they were to relinquish certain rights, and by how much they misunderstood other ones. For some, it was literally the first time they had ever been exposed to the idea that citizenship comes with responsibilities, even for citizens who were born here - yes, that happened.  :(

 I know a couple of people (adults, with cars, jobs, and drivers licenses) who have never been outside the seven county metro area of Minneapolis. I know adults from rural Minnesota who have never been in a city with a population bigger than 75,000 people. I know many adults who have never left the state, and many who have never been further away than the next state over - Wisconsin, North or South Dakota, or Iowa. That's it, that's all the larger their world experience extends. When your world is that small, your frame of reference doesn't have room for much. Potential discomfort must be nearly everywhere.

It's contradictory - we "value" individualism, but enforce conformity. That ends up having all kinds of weird free speech consequences.
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Offline Death over Life

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Re: How does free speech work?
« Reply #9 on: Yesterday at 08:02:51 PM »
You may not have read my question.

Right wingers fear that free speech is being shut down by people who cannot understand free speech, namely Muslims and politically correct people who enable Muslims. This means that a right winger perceives free speech as something that is fragile and can be lost.

The question is, why does he do nothing about it, by pushing for some type of constitutional reform that will help in the eventuality that this occurs?

The only thing they seem to do, is ask for more guns, to shoot Muslims and immigrants.

Never mind Voltaire quotes, free speech is just the right to speak to cockroaches in your basement. Noble of you to fight for me to speak to cockroaches. The free speech idea never said that you have the right to get educational facilities to supply you a microphone and an attentive audience of students. Free speech does not facilitate me going on Fox news every day, to debate my POV with intellectuals.

There is a ranking system. Some people's speech is more listened to than others, due to prevailing norms. If the prevailing norm is that religious right wingers can speak to the cockroaches, then that is their current rank, and they should expect little else.

If the prevailing norm, is that my white race is drunk dishonest and unemployable, and should only speak to cockroaches, then that's what I get for 200 years, until some politically correct Muslims speak up for me, and facilitate my backward ideas potentially undermining their paradise.

Honestly, the right wingers are doing it to pander to their audience. They like keeping their audience in a state of fear and panic.

The problem with the right is that they already have a constitutional reform to guarantee what they wish to come true called the 1st Amendment to the Constitution of the USA. The problem is that they don't like the fact that the very same constitutional amendment that protects them from this happening is the same constitutional amendment that is the reason they can not enforce a Christian theocracy. What they are saying is they want to suppress Muslims while forcing them to conform to Christian ideologies. Their protection is also their downfall sort to speak.

As for the guns, I'm pretty sure they would stop supporting guns the second the NRA stops purchasing the party as an advertisement.

For the right wingers thinking that free speech is something that is fragile and can be lost, that specific line I agree with. This is a huge reason why I reject politically correct language (and why I posted all those videos), and what is going on in those college campuses. All it takes is one wrong thing to say and you can go to jail for it.

The USA is one of the most relaxed free speech law countries on the planet. Of all the things that are wrong with the USA, this is one of the most fundamentally and legitimately free things we have left that the USA has done a good job on. We can still do better, but overall, this is one thing that I can be patriotic about the USA on, until the SJW's try to do away with it.

Don't get me wrong, we are talking about opinion speech and freedom of expression speech. As jag mentioned, we don't interpret speech as fraud, defamation etc.

We still need to thicken the skin of our society however because quite frankly, I don't want comedians to go the way of the dodo bird because people no longer know how to take a joke or a jab.

Offline Mr. Blackwell

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Re: How does free speech work?
« Reply #10 on: Yesterday at 10:06:40 PM »
Right wingers fear that free speech is being shut down by people who cannot understand free speech, namely Muslims and politically correct people who enable Muslims. This means that a right winger perceives free speech as something that is fragile and can be lost.

Two questions. For clarification.

1. Who are the right wingers?
2. Who are the politically correct?

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The question is, why does he do nothing about it, by pushing for some type of constitutional reform that will help in the eventuality that this occurs?

What sort of constitutional reform would prevent Muslims and their politically correct sympathizers from changing the rules of the 1st Amendment?

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The only thing they seem to do, is ask for more guns, to shoot Muslims and immigrants.

Hyperbolic hokum.

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Never mind Voltaire quotes

Ok

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free speech is just the right to speak to cockroaches in your basement.

That suggests that I do not have the same right to speak to the cockroaches in YOUR basement though, doesn't it?

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...The free speech idea never said that you have the right to get educational facilities to supply you a microphone and an attentive audience of students. Free speech does not facilitate me going on Fox news every day, to debate my POV with intellectuals.

You have a point with this line of argument. The second amendment never said that Jane or John Doe, who have never served in the military or police force or security service or militia, have the right to carry a gun with them everywhere they go. The right to privacy idea never said that celebrities must have their privacy rights subjugated by the tabloids and mass media because the 1st amendment trumps their individual, personal privacy. Indeed, the idea of individual privacy has been thoroughly subverted.  There's nothing in the constitution which guarantees that your individual vote will actually count in any sort of meaningful way. We have shown ourselves willing and able to completely disregard and reinterpret original intent in an effort to subvert the dominant paradigm. Antiquated Constitutional Rights be damned....we have a new nation to build and some of  these cute little notions called "Rights" are impeding progress.

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There is a ranking system.

Yup. And using the current rules, the ranking system is being changed.

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Some people's speech is more listened to than others, due to prevailing norms. If the prevailing norm is that religious right wingers can speak to the cockroaches, then that is their current rank, and they should expect little else.

If the prevailing norm, is that my white race is drunk dishonest and unemployable, and should only speak to cockroaches, then that's what I get for 200 years, until some politically correct Muslims speak up for me, and facilitate my backward ideas potentially undermining their paradise.

Why should you be made to suffer for the sins of your predecessors?
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